Vacant land is a great place to build something you’ve dreamed of. Finding vacant land isn’t always easy, but it certainly can be done by a motivated person.
You’ll most often find vacant land for sale readily accessible through the Internet or through a realtor. Other possibilities include seeing a sign on vacant land while out and about. You can also use software tools like reonomy to find plots of land with data indicating they couldbe for sale.
We’ll walk you through the best options you can use to find vacant land for sale. We’ll also discuss the benefit and disadvantages of each.
- Websites like LandSearch or LandWatch are often used to find plots of land
- These websites are a bit different from traditional Zillow or Realtor websites which are often focused on homes.
- Having a realtor help you is key - both for finding unknown plots of land, and for using their legal expertise and negotiation skills
- Driving around on different streets than normal could also help you randomly find a plot of land worth buying.
Table of Contents
First, what is vacant land?
While this might be clear, we want to make sure our purpose is obvious: Vacant land is generally not built on, and might not have utilities running to it, yet. A vacant land might not have a home or structure, or the structure might need to be turn down. Generally speaking, the best uses for vacant land are to build your own structure, like a home, or to use the vacant land for farming or agriculture.
Using a website to find vacant land
There are lots of websites out there that are utilized by realtors and land owners to list their land for sale. You’ve probably heard of many of them. Some website are dedicated almost entirely to plots of land.
LandSearch.com is one of them. LandSearch.com is focused on vacant lots, rural properties, farms, and land that can be built. Amongst others are Landwatch.com, which focuses on land, farms, and ranches for sale.
Note that there is a pretty significant difference between LandSearch.com, Landwatch, and the relatively well known Zillow and Realtor.com. Zillow and Realtor are very commonly used amongst home sellers and have a balance of plots of land, simply because the sites get lots of traffic from people looking for homes and to learn about the home buying process. LandSearch and Landwatch don’t focus a lot on actual homes and tend to focus more on a ranch as a business or a plot of land. These make finding a plot of land easier instead of filtering through the numerous options with Zillow or Realtor.
To be fair, Zillow and Realtor have their own advantages - and honestly, very nice and fast websites, but they are meant for the average home buyer to find a home.
Another issue you might encounter here is that some plots of land will be one website but not another. Most of these websites aren’t free for postings, so the seller or realtor has to consider which website to post in to get the most value for their land. You might have to check several websites to find the right plot of land.
When signing up for one of these websites, you should also setup saved searches. Rather than going back to the website once in a while to see if anything new is there, you’ll often be able to receive an email or text with information about recent additions, which is great because otherwise you might miss something.
For Sale by Owner
So this isn’t technically a “way” to find vacant land for sale, but there are websites out there dedicated to sellers who don’t want to involve a realtor and want to represent themselves through the home sales process. These owners are generally either well versed in real estate law, negotiation, and marketing or are willing to take a risk that a sign that says “For Sale by Owner” will attract the attention they need to sell their house.
A “For Sale by Owner” situation often involves calling that person or going to the house to see it. This might feel a little different than arranging a visit with a realtor - and in most cases, having the homeowner leave the property while you are there to avoid awkwardness.
Using a realtor to find vacant land
Websites offer lots of info, but they often are a little different from an experienced realtor. If you don’t want to use the Internet too much to find vacant land, find yourself a realtor who has experience in buying plots of land and put their knowledge to the test. Realtors often know a little ahead what is going on in the area versus websites that post information about upcoming homes or plots of land.
The big difference to me is that a realtor’s local knowledge can be invaluable. Maybe they know that a local farmer is planning to sell in the near future, but that person only communicated to them in person and a website wouldn’t know that.
Working with a realtor instead of trying to navigate the real estate process by yourself gives you some key advantages including having someone to negotiate for you. While realtors can be expensive, they are often worth it to keep up on local land deals and get you the best price possible.
Not all plots of land are necessarily on a website. If you take a drive to an area you like, you might find a sign indicating land is for sale, often by the owner.
The best way to find plots of land in your area is to take different routes while traveling around so you can see more of your area, and potentially stumble upon a new plot of land.
Sometimes it is good to be connected to your community. See a potentially vacant plot of land? Why not go over to a neighbor, knock on their door, and ask if they know anything about when it might be for sale, or even any history about it?
This might sound like an unconventional approach in an area of cell phones and property tax searches, but knocking onn someone’s door can gain invaluable information about the future of a plot of land.
There are tools out there that let you see insights about land that might not even be for sale, but has data points to indicate that the land could be for sale. Software tools like Reonomy are very useful for this - but here is the catch. You’ll probably have to find the contact info for a land owner and talk to them about why they should sell their land because they might not have thought about it yet. The advantage to this is that you could find a plot of land for sale that isn’t subject to market competition and multiple offers which is great for keeping the price down.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling